STERLING – Team balance trumped individual performance at the Twin Cities boys cross country race on Tuesday at Woodlawn School in Sterling.
Sterling had seven runners in the top 10 and finished with 26 points to defeat Rock Falls (37) and Newman (75). It was the Golden Warriors’ fourth title in the past 5 years.
Leading the way for Sterling was Javon Bruce, who crossed the finish line in 17 minutes, 8 seconds, good for third place behind a pair of Rock Falls runners, Dawson Smith (16:24) and Devon Parker (17:01).
“I think I ran well, for being on the home course for the first time in a while,” Bruce said. “My guys, we’re pretty much in shape for this season, and we’re going to get better.”
Sam Brown (4th, 17:27), Samuel Janssen (5th, 17:53), Dillon Nitz (6th, 18:08) and Connor Pham (8th, 18:31) had the other counting places for the Golden Warriors.
Isaac Halverson (9th, 18:39) and Thomas Holcomb (10th, 18:39) were also in the top 10.
Everybody in the field was chasing Smith, who defended his individual title and was pretty much running by himself after the initial stages of the race.
“It’s just nice to go out there and show people what I can do in my own backyard,” Smith said.
Smith has been in top form, based on his performance Saturday at the First to the Finish Invitational in Peoria, an event that attracted some of the top Class 1A teams in the state. Smith sliced 14 seconds off his previous best time at the Detweiller Park course with a time of 14:56.
“It’s definitely encouraging, especially knowing it wasn’t the state meet,” Smith said. “At the state meet, I’ll definitely have some more adrenaline.”
Alvaro Hernandez (7th, 18:30), Jose Gomez (15th, 20:31) and Josue Delatorre (16th, 21:13) had the other counting times for the Rockets.
Noah Welty (13th, 19:13) and Antonio Gassman (14th, 19:25) led Newman.
Boys cross country
Twin Cities Meet
1. Sterling 26, Rock Falls 37, 3. Newman 75
Winner: Dawson Smith (RF) 16:24